Very new user needing help

I picked up Cobra microtalk CXT345 a couple of days ago to use between two cars on a trip back to Florida and they worked quite well. However we were planning on using them between our condos when we got home. Our condos are no more then a half mile apart and they don’t work at all. These are supposed to have a 26 mile range out in the open so I fully expected to be able to use them at home. Is this normal? Is there something else I can get that may be better?

maybe something is blocking the signal…test em in other location.or maybe there is a broken antenna.hope it helps, im not an expert…

All effective communications is line of sight.

Anytime you put anything one or more wavelengths in size between the transmit and the receive antenna - you might have no reception, unless the signal can find something to bounce off of.

Some building materials such as steel reinforced concrete is opaque to UHF signals.

I would imagine that there is a building 3 or more stories tall between the two of you, and or the foliage on the trees that is blocking your signals.

So am I completely out of luck or is there something else I can get that might work?

Not necessarily. There are a number of factors that determine range and as the other members said, something is likely blocking the signal. It could be a lot of buildings, foliage or hills, or it could be something in your condo or on your property. Depending on where you are and what is around you, there may be no options at all, or there may be many and it may be a simple solution. To offer a more definitive answer, we would need to know more about your environment and what is in it.

It is entirely possible that all you may need to do is move to the right spot in your condo or change the direction of your antenna.

Before giving up, test your radios indoors and outdoors on and around your properties to determine if you can pick up a signal and if so, where it is optimal. You may be able to get a signal outdoors but not inside. It is possible other condos are blocking the signal, but in the right spot it may come through between them.

First determine what may be causing the issue, then you can determine a solution.

I am more than happy to try that and will when my friend gets home. I’m also wondering if there are any radios that may be better than the ones I have in situations like this than the ones I have, or are they all pretty much the same?

There are many types of radios operating on different bands, different wattages and with different antennas. All those factors can determine performance to some degree. But all radios rely on an unencumbered radio wave to connect and communicate. If the wave is disrupted, communication is lost, no matter how good your radio is.

This is why we need to know where you are using the radios rather than just what radios you have.

Is this what you have?

The microTALK Cobra CXT425 two way radio is a great mid-level radio. The CXT425 has a maximum range of 25 miles in ideal conditions (up to one mile in urban conditions). It has 22 GMRS/FRS channels and 142 privacy codes.

Look at the size of the antenna.

Here is the Frequencies -

462 - 467 MHz…

Here is a wavelength Calculator -

Here is the wavelength in inches for 467 MHz -

Here is the half wavelength -

Here is the quarter wavelength -

Your antenna determines the range of your radio.

The height of your antenna above the ground, the soil content below the radio, everything in between the transmit and the receive antenna that is 25 inches or larger can and will block your signal.

Trees, buildings, hills etc.

FRS radios legally only produces one half of one watt with a non removable antenna, since changing the size of the antenna or the height of the antenna would increase it’s range.

GMRS bubble pack radios transmits with up to 1 watt of power.
It’s antenna is non removable, to get around the FCC rules which would prohibit them from selling them to the general public - without a license.

When you buy the cheapest radio you can find, you cannot expect to get much performance out of it.

It does not matter if it is two for $40.00, or the new Wouxons for $40 each.

Changing the antenna to a larger antenna would increase it’s range, as would moving the antenna outdoors. Getting it higher above ground.

If the signal has to penetrate the walls of the building, or the windows - ( low E Glass attenuates radio signals) before it can get outside, it isn’t going to travel very far or very well.
The same is true with the inside of a vehicle, or anything with low E glass.

What you would need is some better radios and a amateur radio license and the use of a repeater that both of you could access from your locations.

Welcome to the wonderful world of wireless communications.

In addition to what everyone said, there is a possibility that other signals interfere with your device.If necessary, you can find professionals to help you take a look at the field to solve this problem

There are a number of on-line resources that will allow you to enter the two locations and they will predict if the path is workable. If it’s not, then no amount of power is going to work unless you can get the antennas up high. So much of what is built nowadays is full of rebar that radio just can’t get through it. Low power hand-held can have a real range of 100’s of yards, let alone miles!